Virtual reality has yet to find a place in mainstream entertainment, but improvements in form factor and reductions in price have moved the needle considerably, as Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has demonstrated. Among the console makers, Sony is the only company to have thrown its support behind the technology. As of last year, the PSVR headset had surpassed 5 million units, and while that’s a mere fraction of the PS4 installed base, Sony was happy enough with the reception to confirm that a PSVR2 is in development, although it won’t be formally unveiled until next year.
In addition to introducing a brand-new VR controller with the PSVR2, Sony reportedly will leverage the power of the PS5 to power a 2,000×2,040 pixels-per-eye OLED display with support for HDR. This should produce a more vibrant and immersive VR world for users and greatly reduce the “screen door” effect that most players notice in current VR headsets. Foveated rendering and eye tracking technology also could be used to help generate detailed environments with less strain on the system’s processor.
The result is that developers should, in theory, be able to craft AAA game experiences for VR that have been rarely seen on other headsets outside of efforts like Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx. Given that the PS5 is the fastest-selling console in PlayStation history with over 10 million sold to date, by the time PSVR2 hits the market, there should be an ample installed base for Sony to target with its new and improved VR headset.
PS5 owners have also gravitated towards VR more than gamers in general, so the opportunity to offer these customers something new and fresh is likely to be well received. Interpret’s New Media Measure® reveals that over a quarter of PS5 owners currently own a VR headset, with 22% specifically owning the PSVR headset; in comparison, among all gamers, just 11% own a VR headset.